June 17, 2021
A Guide to Using OKRs for SaaS Startups
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) have turned out to be a phenomenal success for many modern organizations and have been the driving force behind unlocking business success. In today’s dynamic market, small startups and large enterprises need to iterate their priorities faster to sustain a competitive advantage. This also reflects the significant transformation from driving output to yielding improved outcomes. Implemented by Google, Walmart, Netflix, and others, OKRs are now increasingly used by SaaS (Software as a Service) companies to trigger growth by meeting intended targets. When implemented well, OKRs for SaaS startups help focus on a unified set of goals, keeping everyone accountable for what they perform and how they contribute towards unlocking business success.
SaaS companies widely adopt OKRs to create a robust system where everyone aligns in the same direction, focuses on crafting goals that are most important, and collaborates to accomplish desired outcomes- all while adding real value to success. Eevn if you are working in a small startup with 30 employees or a large corporation with more than 300 employees, you must follow few practices to leverage your experience with OKR framework. Let us talk about the significant traits of using OKRs for SaaS startups that help drive success and sustain business growth-
- Follow the 3 by 5 Rule
It is no doubt that how powerful an OKR framework can be as a goal-setting tool. But do you know it can be challenging too? That is why SaaS companies should follow the 3 by 5 rule. The aim is simple- while defining OKRs at the company, team, or individual level, there should be only three to five objectives for a specific quarter. And each goal should be linked to three to five key results, which are time-bound and measurable.You may be wondering why to do so? The reason is clear. When goals and key results are limited from three to five, it does not dilute the focus. This makes sure that everyone has a clear picture of the company’s vision and purpose and works on what is most important for driving business impact.
Also Read: Unlocking the Potential of OKR Framework
- Involve Executive Team to Buy-in
John Doerr rightly said, “The most important element for OKR success is conviction and buy-in by the organization’s leaders.” Let’s say that OKRs can help bridge the gap between strategy and execution or drive your new product release. Then, it may be imperative to involve an executive team or a pilot group of individuals to buy-in from the top down. These individuals may not necessarily be the OKR experts but are skilled enough to lead employees and managers in setting relevant goals aligned to the company’s vision and purpose.
For instance, a SaaS company adopting OKRs for the very first time must have their executive team set three or four objectives and key results for a specific quarter. Once the pilot group successfully uses OKRs for the next one or two quarters, they can implement them at the organizational level so that everyone can leverage the benefits.
- Set Frequent Check-in Cadence
The goal-setting process can be a bit faster in a small SaaS company. You may need to set frequent check-ins to assess individual performances. Instead of conducting quarterly review meetings, managers may need to focus on weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to evaluate how everyone is pacing towards achieving company goals.
Do you consider check-ins merely a way to track progress frequently? Well, it’s certainly not! Check-ins also make you think whether the goals you are working on are still important to the company or not. With changing business priorities, goals also need to be updated to drive the best possible outcomes. With a frequent check-in cadence, managers can realign goals so that employees monitor their pace and perform better in the next quarter.
The above-discussed traits of using OKRs for SaaS startups can bring everyone towards successful short-term sprints, which ultimately drive long-term business success. Want to use a powerful goal-setting tool for your startup or even a big enterprise? Try Unlock:OKR! With its wide range of advanced and integrated features, you can unlock success and elevate business growth. To know more about the tool, Book a Demo.